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Sun 1 Oct 2006 12:00 AM

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Etihad to win loyalty with ‘Guest’

Etihad Airways claims it has been overwhelmed with applicants for its new customer loyalty programme, Etihad Guest.

Peter Baumgartener, head of marketing, said more than 15,000 online applications from more than 70 countries had been submitted since the scheme launched on August 30, and around 10% of the 65,000 paper enrolment forms distributed are being processed.

“More than 60% of applications are from the UAE,” he revealed. “And 75% are between age 25 and 50.”

Etihad Guest offers members flexibility in the way they collect and dispense of their air miles.

Miles can be redeemed as soon as they have been accrued and can be used as part payment for a flight or holiday.

Guests can also redeem their miles on products offered by Etihad’s car rental, financial, retail and leisure partners.

There are four levels of membership; Etihad Guest, Etihad Guest Silver, Etihad Guest Gold, and an exclusive invitation-only tier, Etihad Guest Ruby.

Members receive extra benefits the more miles they earn, including priority check-in, lounge access, up to up to 15kg excess baggage allowance, complimentary limousine services and fast-track immigration.

In other Etihad news, the carrier has opened a sales office in Al Taawun Street, Sharjah to support mounting demand from the carrier’s large customer base in the Northern Emirates (25% of all UAE business).

Etihad’s coaches will transport Coral Zone passengers from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi International Airport twice daily (7am and 9pm), and a Sharjah check-in service is also planned.

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